Play Expo 2017: Colombo Comic Expo Unleashes Inner Geeks

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If one were to make their way towards the SLECC on any day from Friday the 8th to Sunday the 10th, they would have probably seen a plethora of people dressed up in different costumes or carrying around various board games or action figures, or both. Well, we too found ourselves at the SLECC and it felt like we had stepped into a different dimension. This was Play Expo 2017.

Organized by Gamer.LK, Play Expo 2017 was part tech exhibition, part Geek festival, and part Comic con as well. All one had to do was to head over to the SLECC and walk in through either of the main doors. From there, you would be able to witness Play Expo 2017 in its entirety.

What could one do at Play Expo 2017?

Beginning from Friday, Play Expo 2017 kicked off with a whole bunch of pretty interesting things that visitors could take part in. For example, as soon as you walked into the main hall of the SLECC, the first thing would notice was a whole bunch of PCs lined up against the left wall. This was where SLCG 2017 was taking place.

Play Expo 2017

For gamer, by gamers

Right opposite that there were another bunch of PCs, these flashier than ye regular PC. This was the stall showcasing gaming peripherals and some high-end gaming PCs and components courtesy of Redline Technologies and Nanotech computers. On these PCs were a few AAA titles that you could sit back and play in all their glory.

In addition, you also could experience a bit of local flavor courtesy of Arimac and their Experience Zone where visitors could sit down and play Kanchayudha, an epic story based on Sri Lankan Lore.

Play Expo 2017
The Arimac stall in full swing

This wasn’t just for the gamers though

Located at strategic points of the SLECC were stalls from companies such as Collectique, Yamato One, Red Dot Geek, Faniacs, and Jollys Toy Shop. They offered pretty much anything a geek could ever want or need ranging from action figures to rare collectable items, to model vehicles, to geek inspired T-shirts and clothing items and hand-drawn portraits.

Play Expo 2017
The Collectique stall pretty much made every geek’s dreams come true

There was also an Artist’s Alley

Here, artists of all sorts gathered to showcase their abilities in drawing either original characters or their favorite character. If you were lucky enough, you would even be able to get a portrait of your favorite character as well.

Play Expo 2017

The Cosplays

Amidst all these panel discussions, people visiting Play Expo 2017 would have also seen some of their favorite game and movie characters walking across the hall. These were the cosplayers of Colombo Comic Expo. Held as a part of the Play Expo 2017, we saw some tremendous talent from these people. They had spent countless days and nights working tirelessly to get everything down to the last detail.

Play Expo 2017
A A snapshot of some of the cosplays we saw.

You can get a rough idea about the cosplays from the images below. You can also take a look at the photo album we published for more images as well. The cosplayers didn’t just walk around and pose for photos. They were also here to take part in the cosplay competition. They would be judged on criteria such as originality of the cosplay, attention to detail and overall character performance etc.

While Friday was a day for casual cosplays, Saturday and Sunday were reserved for competitions revolving around individual cosplays and group cosplays. Winners of the competition walked away with attractive prizes in terms of collectibles and other geek-related prizes. You can check out our full album here.

Play Expo 2017
A few of the Group Cosplays that happened at Colombo Comic Expo

There were a number of educational items as well

These took the form of numerous panel discussions spread out across all three days. For example, the folks over at Pruve comics who were also the co-organizers of Colombo Comic Expo had a ver intersing reveal.

They revealed the trailer for their new film “No man’s land. This is based on a comic that is already published and as such, will elaborate on the comic.

Play Expo 2017
The folks from PRUVE Comics engaged in a panel discussion and also revealing a sneak peek at No Man’s Land

The team explained that a lot of the scenes were taken for the very first time. They used to record and gather videos to see if it worked, after which they then deleted unwanted scenes. The team had to prove themselves to read up and improvise on relevant techniques as they had prior experience in shooting action sequences.

The result? Well, you can see for yourself.

Creating a killer tv series with Koombiyo

Another interesting panel discussion was the director, cast and the crew of the wildly popular Koombyio TV series. In case you didn’t know, Koombiyo scores a jaw-dropping 9.9/10 on IMDB, which is definitely a first for Sri Lankan TV history.

Play Expo 2017 | Koombiyo
The cast of Koombiyo at Play Expo 2017

The panelists spoke about the concepts for the TV series and also announced that there would be a comic series under the same name as well, which drew quite a lot of applause from the audience.

We saw the screening of EIDETIC

This is a short film by High School Junkies. They spoke about the road so far and the challenges they had to overcome to reach the place they are now.

Play Expo 2017 Colombo Comic Expo
Image Credits: Promod Kavishka

You can take a look at their short film below. Mind you, this was all shot on a budget of under $300.

What is the best medium to create content?

The next panel discussion was about choosing the best medium to create content. Carried out by Kasun “Kalumalli” Gunasekera, Ranura Perera and Larry T Hill, we learned that you need to work with the format that is there and people will notice you. If you want to be a content creator but you lack the enthusiasm, then you’re not gonna be very successful.

Play Expo 2017The trio spoke about details such as making a career out of one’s hobby, talking analytics and the YouTube algorithm and the challenges faced by Sri Lankan YouTubers. In short, we need to get more and more people on YT. We need more creators.

Following this was Bhanuka Harischandra on monetizing video games

Bhanuka emphasized that you need to create enough content to have a following. You also need to create content that your following will be interested in what you do. If you’re in an industry such as video gaming, your audience is global.

This means your Cost per mile is also global. In case you were wondering, the cost per mile or CPM a marketing term used to denote the price of 1,000 advertisement impressions on one webpage.

Play Expo 2017
Bhanuka Harishchandra speaking on how to earn money playing video games

Content creators need to find a niche that they’re passionate about. From there, they can go ahead create content for it. With regard to the YouTube Algorithm, Bhanuka explained that you should let YouTube figure out what it needs to, and you go ahead and create content for it.

Another very interesting panel discussion was about filmmaking

Carried out by the folks behind the movie Aloka Udapadi, they spoke about when making a movie, you need to have a passion to see it through. Anyone can shoot a move using the resources at hand.

They covered the fundamentals of movie making such as a storyboard, what special effects and materials would be needed in terms of costumes. A storyboard is important because it depicts the movie in its entirety and how it should look. Even the smallest of films can benefit from a storyboard.

Play Expo 2017
The folks at Autumn Lane Studio talking about film making.

With regard to VFX, there can be challenges such as budget constraints. All three panelists explained that they were mostly self-taught but also engaged in higher studies related to their fields.

We saw the reveal of SOL-LES, a game based in Sri Lanka

There was also a reveal by Puppet Animations with regard to their upcoming title game SOL-LES. Based entirely in Sri Lanka, the game takes place in the not too distant future where an alien race has invaded the world and we are in a fight to survive.

The team spoke about their journey so far and how they came up with the concept for the game and the challenges they’ve faced so far. Though far from complete, they were able to demo a certain section of the game. From what we saw, we were quite impressed. The graphics alone looked very clean and according to the team, should be able to run on mid-level PCs without any issues

Play Expo 2017: Colombo Comic Expo Unleashes Inner Geeks 9
Iraj conducting his panel discussion

In conclusion

Apart from this, there were a few other panel discussions that spoke about the alternative side of Sinhala music in Sri Lanka, 3D sculpting, the uses of technology and digital media in Rock and Electronica genres, and also a panel discussion with Iraj.

So there you have it, that’s pretty much Pay Expo 2017 in a nutshell, stay tuned for the other side of the coin which is SLCG 2017.

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